(646) 695-9464 hello@manhattanbni11.com

Leadership Team

Todd Cymbol

Vice President
Neha Bhalani

Toral Gathani

Membership Committee
Helene Pangalos
Stephen Goldstein

Visitor Hosts
Naomi Halpern
David Drucker
Matthew Kesten

Educational Coordinator
All Members

Mentor Coordinators
Elise Langsam
Stefan Greenberg

Event Coordinators
Cynthia Peacock
Daniel O’Connor

Growth Coordinator
Ilan Weiser

Marketing & Roster Coordinator
Rick Biolsi

Time Coordinator
Toral Gathani

Chapter Webmaster & Zoom
Todd Cymbol

Chapter Dues

Breakfast dues for members are payable monthly on or before the first meeting of each month. Any payment made after the 1st meeting of the month is considered late.

We collect dues 1 month in advance. (Payments due on the 1st meeting of May are for the meetings in June.) Dues are $30.00 per week when paid on time. A $10 penalty is charged for late payments. The excess goes into the kitty to cover breakfast charges for guests.

  • For Visitors who can join our chapter: We have arranged to cover the cost of our guests’ breakfasts, so there is no charge.
  • For BNI Members in other chapters: Payment of $25 for breakfast dues will be collected.
  • For substitutes: If you send a substitute, your breakfast dues cover their meal. No money is collected from subs.

Attendance Guidelines

Attendance at every meeting is essential. Members are encouraged to secure substitutes when they are unable to attend. Having a substitute attend does not count as an absence. BNI policy states that a member who has more than three absences in a six-month period forfeits their position.

Furthermore, a member must be present for at least 75% of the meetings in any given 6 month period. If not, this will be cause for expulsion.

  • 1st Absence – No Action.
  • 2nd Absence – Membership sends a letter encouraging member to attend MSP and to provide a substitute.
  • 3rd Absence – Membership sends a letter warning that member status is in jeopardy.
  • 4th Absence – Membership Committee may open your seat to a new member.

Exit Interview

Conducted either in person or by phone by a member of the leadership team, it serves to document the member’s experience with the chapter, especially if leaving is voluntary prior to expiration of their dues period.

Lateness / Leaving Early

Timely attendance at BNI meetings is also important. 7:00 to 7:15 am is our time to network. This time is critical for members to form working relationships, especially with new members and visitors. Arriving late diminishes the importance of our meetings. Arriving after 7:15 and leaving early is also disruptive. Therefore, the following absence appointment has been assigned to discourage lateness:

  • Arriving after 7:30 am – 1/2 absence
  • Arriving after 8:00 am – 1 absence
  • Leaving before 8:15 am – 1/2 absence
  • Leaving before 8:00 am – 1 absence


It is your responsibility to arrange for your own substitute and provide them with a 45-second presentation about your business. If for any reason your substitute does not make it to the meeting, you will be counted as absent for that week.

It is best if you can find a substitute whose classification does not conflict with a sitting member. If there is a conflict, please check with the member to be sure it is OK for the substitute to give their 45 second introduction.

Over-Use of Substitutes

There is no penalty if a member has a substitute attend in their place. In fact, we encourage it. However, on a case by case basis, if the substitute is attending more than the original member and the substitute is not fully participating in meetings, i.e., passing leads, bringing visitors, or volunteering, then the leadership team may inquire as to the member’s intentions to participate. Furthermore, a member must be present for at least 75% of the meetings in any given 6 month period. If not, this will be cause for expulsion.

Member Issues

Members may have issues with fellow members for various reasons. The Leadership Team encourages members to work out any disagreements or disputes with each other. If this does not resolve the problem, a verbal complaint can be made to the Membership Committee for guidance in resolving the problem. If this does not resolve the issue satisfactorily, a written complaint can be made to the Membership Committee to document the issue should further action be necessary. All complaints will be handled with discretion and with every effort to maintain full confidentiality.

Medical Leave

A leave of absence can be requested in writing for medical or family emergencies. The letter should state the length of time, the member’s substitute plan, and whether the leave is protected or unprotected, i.e., protecting the member’s profession or leaving it open. A protected leave can be taken for up to eight weeks with continuous dues.

Evaluating Member Participation

As part of its role, the Membership Committee will review the participation of existing members on an on-going basis. This is done to assist members in giving and receiving quality leads.

The committee will also review members prior to renewal of their membership. It is our desire to meet with each member prior to his or her renewal. However, if time does not permit and there is no question the Committee recommends renewal, some members may not have a face-to-face meeting.

The criteria we have currently determined for review are:

  • Attendance/ overuse of subs (see Chapter Guidelines for clarification as to what constitutes the overuse of subs)
  • Referrals Passed/Received
  • Adherence to the BNI Code of Ethics
  • Timely payment of membership and breakfast dues
  • Complaints received by the Membership Committee from chapter members
  • Acknowledgements and other recognition received by the Membership Committee from chapter members
  • Participation in the chapter (serving on committees, leadership roles, etc.)

Conflict / Overlap of Professions

The Membership Committee reviews all classifications of new applicants carefully for conflicts. However, in some cases, due to the nature of an industry or profession there are specializations and distinctions we are not aware of, and so a conflict is not obvious. If a visitor attends the meeting who is representing a business/profession that is or may be in conflict or overlap with your seat, please inform the Chapter Vice President who is Chairman of the Membership Committee. The Membership Committee will consider the potential conflict/overlap during the application process: however, depending on the nature and degree of overlap, the Membership Committee may choose to admit the applicant as a new member.

As a courtesy to sitting members, if you are inviting a substitute or guest whose classifications is already represented in our chapter, you should check with that member to be sure it is OK for the substitute or guest to give their 45 second commercial.


BNI policy states that each chapter set their own guidelines around a quota or expected number of referrals passed each month to keep our members focused on BNI outside of the meetings, In order to support all members in getting the most benefit out of BNI, we recommend a minimum number of referrals be passed: Each member is expected to pass at least one (1) referral per month or bring one guest to our chapter meeting each month. We will average referrals passed over a three month period, and when a member has not met the quota, we will invite that member to meet with the Membership Committee to review the referrals he/she has generated; and to offer assistance and support to the member in order to help them meet the quota effectively The Membership Committee will then review the next three-month period and follow-up with the member on leads generation.

We continue to strive for a high-quality of referrals to be passed. Members are to pass referrals that are valid and whereby the referral is expecting your call when you follow up. Should you find that a member of BNI is passing referrals that are not valid, please return the referral slip to them and discuss why it does not constitute a good referral. Should this happen again, alert the Membership Committee.

Announcements and Handouts

If any member has an announcement about other networking venues or some other announcement of interest to the group as a whole, it can be made at the end of the meeting. This time for announcements is not meant as an additional advertisement for a member’s product or services. Announcements of this nature should be made during the 45 second introduction.

If any member, except for the speaker for the week, wants to pass around handouts, they should be placed at the Visitor Host table before the meeting starts. Passing handouts around during the meeting is disruptive.